While Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley has lost his starting job, one of the club’s stars still has hope he can find his way.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, fellow defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh indicated Fairley’s skill set remains strong — and that now is the time to show it.
“I haven’t said this a lot or to many people, more or less, but Nick is more athletically gifted than me, and he has an opportunity to be better than me, and that’s what I want to see out of him,” Suh said Wednesday, according to Ashley Dunkak of CBS Detroit.
The Lions’ 2011 first round pick, Fairley has shown intriguing ability in his NFL career. He recorded a half-dozen sacks a season ago — an impressive total for an interior lineman.
However, it’s clear Fairley still has something to prove to the Lions. The club didn’t exercise an option to extend his contract through 2015, and he was demoted from the starting lineup last week in favor of C.J. Mosley.
According to CBS Detroit, Fairley told reporters Wednesday he wants to shed 10 pounds from his current weight of 315. He also indicated he believes he’ll be starting by the regular season opener vs. the Giants.
Fairley said Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin wants him to “play consistent.”
“That’s just something I’ve got to do this season,” Fairley said, per CBS Detroit.
And time is of the essence for Fairley, with unrestricted free agency around the corner.